Life goes on

A year had passed and life kept going, never slowing down. I cried a lot in privacy because I felt like I had to be strong for my children. I picked up more day care children to make ends meet. Basically, I surrounded myself with children and cut myself off from adults. Most of my time was spent at home cleaning, I was obsessed with cleaning. The other spare time I had I  was watching children and taking my own girls to dance classes. Eventually, they were in every dance class you could think of. I knew I needed to keep their minds busy so they didn’t focus on the tragedy at home. I had to be strong for them and myself. 

I devoted all of my time to my girls to keep myself distracted as well. They were and are my world. I felt like I needed to fill that void of a dad, and that’s exactly what I did. They deserved so much in life. Two beautiful young girls that didn’t choose this life. My babies deserved so much more. 

The struggle of sadness was so real in my head. I was growing weak on how to keep my emotions in tact. Every chance I got I would break down and cry. I remember crying myself to sleep every night into my pillow after my girls fell asleep. Both girls slept with me every night out of fear. My youngest held my shirt all night long so she knew where I was and my oldest daughter became scared thinking “bad spirits” were going to get her. My heart was breaking for both of them. How could I be this strong mom when I wanted to collapse from exhaustion, fear, heartbreak, loneliness, embarrassment and shame? 

I had become this person, mommy that feared and still does of  the unknown. What do I mean by this, you may ask? I have a great fear to this day that I may lose one of my girls. Fear has literally taken over me with this. Trafficking, being abducted or sexually assaulted is a great fear in my head. 

I chose not to date out of hurt and fear of another man disciplining the girls wrongly, fear of them being touched  inappropriately, and because of my own insecurities of men towards myself. I just didn’t trust men. Honestly, I still don’t. I had never been given a reason to afterall. Am I attracted to men, of course. This is a question I have encountered a couple of times because I’m single. Being single does not mean you are attracted to the same sex. I know, I got a little off track……

Let’s get back to our lives going on. The girls and I are a very close family. We have always said, we need each other. The girls danced and danced and began competing in competitions. This was our life outside of  the home we dreaded being a part of. My head was clouded and often I found myself zoning out into my own world. 

I felt lost and I had lost my identity. I had let Sean’s suicide become my new identity. I felt like I would always be that woman that was alone because her husband committed suicide. I never wanted to explain to anyone what had happened. I protected my heart tightly not allowing too many into my story. Vulnerability was something I did not have. Trust was and is a big issue for me. 

It was hard being brave and strong for two small people when all I wanted to do was give up myself. I had felt defeated and heartbroken. Everywhere I looked I saw Sean. I could smell him and I could hear his voice. A song would come on the radio and I would sob because I’d imagine hearing him sing. I would look at the couch and see him playing his guitar, only to realize he wasn’t really here anymore. My mind flooded with things he would say to me, good and not so good. I would hear him laugh and yell. The mind can really play tricks on you, don’t you agree?  

Life has gone On , but so much has happened throughout the years. So much to write about. So many heartaches and disappointments. Brokenness and loneliness has followed me side by side like best friends throughout my journey. My cries for help often taken for granted. Slowly I found myself  my own best friend, yet my worst enemy. I had convinced myself  I did not matter. 

Life goes on though……

 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1


💜 Dear Lord, please give me strength and courage to be a better mom, friend  and person. I ask you to watch over me Alyssa and Lyndsey keeping us safe wherever we may be in our day. Take my fears away of any harm happening to my girls. I ask you God to give me peace in my heart. In Jesus name, amen. 💜                                          


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The Holiday’s

As the holiday seasons have once again approached my heart seems to be taking things differently this year. I’m feeling more alone and heartbroken then ever. My heart just wants to cry so much. 

Courage

It’s taken so much courage out of me to share my journey publicly with everyone. Courage is a way of speaking your mind with your heart, telling your story about your imperfections in your life. However, how exactly do we embrace and share the imperfections that make us who we are in a culture that we are afraid to not fit in. 

Jesus

Jesus said that we were not meant to do life alone, that we need to be in community. The way to strengthen our relationship with the Lord is to strengthen our friendships with each other. This is pleasing to God. Far too often I do find myself feeling very much so alone. Scared, nervous and so very alone in my world. 

The reason I’m touching surface on this before I get into my holiday seasons is so maybe you, the reader can somewhat understand where I’m coming from. Many things lead up to the holidays that spark my emotions. A holiday can be whatever you want it to be. I have many holidays of my events from childhood to adulthood that wrestle around in my head. Shall we begin?….

I remember back to the first Christmas and birthdays of our girls without Sean. Alyssa’s birthday did fall on November 25th and his death was November 29th however, he had already checked out. No doubt in my mind that Sean already knew his destination of suicide. 

Our first Christmas people came alongside us giving our girls gifts and buying us a Christmas tree. Lights were hung on the outside of the house. Our children had changed though. Even though all of this goodness in people’s hearts was going on my babies were saddened by the event that took place less than a month before Christmas. All they had wanted was their dad back. That day seemed to have gone on forever. Finally, it had ended. However, it was only the beginning of many more holidays to come and many more tears. 

The holiday seasons are so difficult on me. The girls are growing up and I have so many memories tucked away that I never expressed. So many tears behind closed doors or wherever I could not be discovered. I needed to keep my children focused on happiness and living a productive life to keep their little mermaid minds from wondering. In the meantime I pretended my shattered heart wasn’t so shattered. If I said I was okay then no one would focus on me. 

I wish I could be writing about how wonderful our holidays were together while Sean was alive. I’m sure everyone would love a happy ending. Or to hear how on Christmas Day the girls would tip toe to the living room to see what Santa had brought them all the while Sean and myself would be shortly behind them. With their shiny bright pink face smiling from ear to ear waiting to unwrap presents. That is the life I longed for as a family, but it was far from that. Our cheerful morning usually ended in an argument because he couldn’t wake up because he would be up all night doing who knows what. I would have to tip toe around the situation to make sure he didn’t become angry at me. 

Just the 3 of us…..

Soon it would become just the 3 of us from here on out. I would become a mommy and a daddy to our girls, literally. I worked hard to provide a nice Christmas and for other holidays for my children. I never not had a job. The Lord always provided for us. We didn’t always have the best, but we had what I could afford and the necessities. My beautiful young girls appreciated everything I did for them. At times I can remember comments they had made to me like, I only want my dad back for Christmas. Talk about breaking my heart. This was something I could not do. 

Many holidays have gone by throughout the years and many were sad , but some were not. We started making new memories with one another. A Christmas tree however would not become the most popular in our home for many years because Lyndsey was scared thinking it was a stranger in the living room. Eventually I cut that out so she would stop being afraid. So many things we have had to work through. 

Okay, I know I have been all over the place in this blog and I apologize, but my mind hasn’t been functioning so well lately and this is pretty much how things in my head look like. I hope this give you a perspective on what I go through. This holiday season has been raking on me hard. I am sad , I do feel helpless at times and guess what…. I hate it. I find myself getting by in my days and I have lost my joy. I do know God loves me and I too love Him. I try hard to keep feeding my soul with His word. I am so imperfect in my thoughts and yet I know God still loves me. I don’t always talk nice to myself or for that matter love myself, but I do know I have a great support system. As Christmas nears I want to remember the true meaning of it and that is Christ. No amount of gifts or money can buy our happiness, only God can fill that. 

Greet each other with Christian love. All of God’s people here send you their greetings. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:12-14

Please pray for myself and my children this holiday season. Lord, please don’t let the enemy come between us causing turmoil and distractions. My prayer is that my girls and myself keep seeking you, God through good and not so good times. That we can stay a close tight knit unit with one another and love each other. Lord , thank you for never leaving my side and for walking my journey with me guiding me all the while. In Jesus name, amen. 💜 


The anniversary 

November 29th is a date forever engraved in my memory. Its a day that seems to come around so frequently, so quickly. 

The day was a crisp morning on my first encounter of this date. Cold, quiet and sad. Not a day with joy, laughter or smiling faces. It was more like everyone trying to find the right words to say to me, awkward hugs and hidden tears behind shock for myself. 

November 29th should never have been a day that was any different from any other day. Why did it need to be different from November 28th or even November 30th? Why did this awful day have to happen at all? Only God truly knows because afterall, He knows what lies ahead for us yesterday, today and tomorrow. God knew this would be a significant date on the calendar for myself and our children. A date that would forever be the day our lives would change forever. I would become a single mom, a widow. Our children would lose their father, their protector from boys and harm, the man that should have been here to walk his girls down the aisle one day. None of this would ever happen because of November 29th. 

Years have gone by and we’ve all gotten older and wiser. I had to become that protector of my children and guide them in a positive, loving way as much as I could. God had equipped me to become this mother that loved her children and helped lead them to becoming beautiful young women that loved the Lord. 

I’ve slowly realized through my hurt and hidden tears that a part of me does miss Sean. The Sean that I had first met on March 23rd. 

This anniversary of a tragic way of life taken away at such a young age should never had happened. 29 is too young to die and 30 is too young to become a widow. My heart aches far too often and I haven’t been able to simply say, goodbye to someone I fell in love with and had children with. Sean will forever be in my heart and the good and not so good memories as well. 

Eventually, I hope to be able to remember this day as a day that’s not goodbye forever, but goodbye for now. 

Till we meet again in heaven… 💜

Sean, I will forever remember you and a big part of me will forever love you. I pray Lord that he did indeed accept Christ into his life and that he is happy and rejoicing in his love for you God. Amen. 

November 29, 1999 💜 I love you!







Shhh don’t talk about it.. 

I’m not sure where to start, but at the end of this blog you will see who I can talk about “it” with. My life has become so chaotic. As the minutes, hours, days, months and years have gone by I kept everything of that day and my hurt life in my knapsack tucked away. Guilt, shame, embarrassment, anger, loneliness and sadness, I kept it so deeply tucked away  carefully so no one would see my feelings. 

How could I share with anyone, I mean would anyone else understand? Would they think, “why didn’t she walk away”?  My own insecurities ran wild in my head like a deer caught in headlights wondering if  I’d be discovered. 

Often I found myself not being truthful when I was approached by where Sean was. I would say, “oh he’s fine, he’s at home”. I definitely did not want to explain where he was. However, it became more challenging to keep that story going so I gradually would tell people he had died, never telling them it was suicide. 

Far too often I was made to feel uncomfortable about my story as time went by. Friends, family, and acquaintances didn’t know how to act around me. Was I supposed to snap out of this sadness and “get over, it? That’s another blog in itself  so I’ll move along on that subject all together for now. 

Little by little I would sneak out some of my feelings and show my broken heart at its entirety, yet being very careful to guard my heart from being able to handle “too much”. I would express these hurts through letter writing, casual talk and through my Facebook account. 

If anyone asked questions I would delete a post and rethink if I was ready to share. Letter writing became most popular for me because I could privately share with someone I trusted. Don’t get me wrong, I too was sick sometimes like someone had poisoned me, after writing on paper and delivering my thoughts to another individual. My stomach would feel queasy and I would wish I could put that letter back into my hands. 

Not everyone has been equipped…

I’ve  quickly discovered that not just anyone has been prepared by the Lord to hear “my story”. I have had friends, close friends leave my life abruptly after showing vulnerability with them. Death is never an easy topic , especially suicide. Some people are so scared of the subject and of not being able to respond in the correct manner that they shy away from me. I’ve heard that sharing my story was negative to , hasn’t it been a long time ago. As a Suicide survivor it’s fresh in my mind like when I first cut my bangs short as a child or the first time I had to wear a training bra., it just is! 

My most recent experience of  showing vulnerability with my story left me feeling hopeless, scared, sad and alone. It’s not easy trusting with such a delicate story and to be put on a shelf like the holiday elf has broken my heart and hurt my self esteem. That small voice in my ear keeps whispering, you don’t matter, April. The enemy is cunning with his words and lies. I have to be careful not to hear his deceitful lies. 

I’m trying real hard not to stop sharing something that could help so many other suicide survivors. Suicide has left me somewhat paralyzed and now I’m feeling myself clinging onto the word of God and to the one person that hears and knows every thought I have. He knows my own personal struggles, my battles within myself  and most importantly, my heart. 

My delicate heart….

Sharing my story about that night  Sean took his own life will never get any easier. There will always be someone who can’t handle or understand  my journey. 

Finally…

The Lord has prepared many , but one particular person that I have grown to trust and be that safe person to open up to. I know this to be true because I feel it in my heart and prayers. I am forever grateful for my therapist, Violet. Yes, I said therapist. God placed her strategically into my life to hear and care about “me”. I never feel like I don’t have her full, undivided attention. Sounds odd you say , but it’s totally not. Have you ever walked into a therapy session and felt odd, uneasy, or judged because I have. Violet has become a safe person that I know cares about me and my well being. After all, we are Sisters In Christ. I’m blessed to feel that encouragement of not giving up and to help me love myself. 



“The smell of silence”

Taking you back to the day of me remembering the smell , the oh so powerful smells that lingered throughout the house. 

The air was cold and it felt hard to breathe as my shaky legs walked out of my room , down the hallway, into the living room and eventually through the kitchen. As I stood in the kitchen before entering the garage I took in every smell that I had smelt as I walked through the house. 

The bedroom was silent with little beating hearts of our children. The hallway, short yet cold. The living room had a weird silence to it with the sun shining through the blinds. I could smell Sean’s shampoo on his pillow and his scent on his blanket. The air was thick, or maybe it was just my thoughts swarming like wild butterflies trying to escape their cocoon. I felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest as I got to the kitchen. I discovered beer cans covering the counter, the aroma of beer lingering throughout the air. It was so silent though. 

As I stood at the back door leading into the garage my hands shaked and my chest was beating fast. I grabbed the handle, opened the door fast and practically ran through the garage seeing out of the corner of my eye what appeared to be Sean sitting there, but I fooled myself thinking it was my imagination and only a prank. 

The air in the garage was very cold and I could smell the dirtiness of the garage. Dust, and the outside air as I reached for the door and ran to the backyard. The air was so fresh outside and smelled inviting to just stay out there, but I knew I had to turn around and re enter “the garage.”  

No, I didn’t want to turn around and take those dreaded steps. My legs felt like jello and my heartbeat was out of control. I knew what I had seen and I wasn’t wanting to accept it. Please God, say it was just a bad prank! Why must this happen, can it be real? 

I could smell the enemy. Yes, I said the enemy lingering around like a Vulture in our garage waiting to tear me down. It was a dark, eerie, sad feeling. I became scared and uneasy as I stood there in disbelief. I was frozen in shock and fear. Do I run, do I scream, what was my feelings supposed to do? There was no smell of gun powder, there was no smell of blood, only the smell of  fear, uncertainty and sadness. 

It was awful…

Run, that’s exactly what I had done after gathering my thoughts and freeing my paralyzed body as I stood there in horror. 

I slammed the door….

All I could think about was my children and what would I say to them. How would I keep myself calm enough to protect them? Well, my body did go into shock and I was in a state of calmness for them. In my head I was screaming and wanting to burst into tears. 

The smells of that day still fill my senses….. 😔 


         

“That Day”

There will always be, “That Day”.

That day Sean took his own life,

That day my house was a Suicide scene,

That day our blonde baby girl remembers dancing around in her long skirt while her daddy played his guitar,

That day our beautiful auburn-haired daughter with freckles on her cheeks and blue eyes remembers running to hug her daddy as he entered the porch returning home from work. 

Life would never be the same. 

It was a somewhat quiet night in our house, I was sick and the girls were laying with me in my bed. Sean and I had not been on speaking terms for way over 2 weeks and he had been sleeping on the couch . He was really good at ignoring me when he was upset at me, which was often. I recall this time was because I refused to stop attending church and being friends with a good friend of mine named Aileen.  Aileen had introduced me to the church and  God’s purpose for me and in this life. Sean knew he was losing me to something more powerful than he could control and that was, God.  The church is a whole nother topic…

Anyhow, I don’t want to distract you from, That Day. 

Sean was alarmingly over nice to me that night, they say this is normal behavior for someone feeling content with the decision they’ve already made. He entered our room with NyQuil and some other cold medicine saying I needed to take it to feel better. I’m pretty sure he overdosed me on purpose. I’d asked him why so much, but once again the response was, to feel better. I wasn’t quite understanding his mood, being he was in a happy mood. He had left the room but re-entering it with his black acoustic guitar in his hands. He stood at the foot of the bed , the girls glowing with excitement of him playing and singing to us and that’s when he had began doing just that. He looked happy as I layed  there feeling more drowsy than ever. I could see a difference in his face, but wasn’t sure where this was coming from, just the previous night we argued that he had indeed been sleeping as he claimed he hadn’t slept in 3 days. 

Both girls had slowly fallen  asleep as I too had drifted away into a sleep as I remember him exiting the room. 

That dreadful morning 

What I had thought was a crashing of a plate caused by the cat was far from that. 

That noise 

That crashing sound

I remember that day all to well, like if it were yesterday. 

The smell

The surroundings

The cold feeling in the air

The sun was shining through the blinds as I awoke to the morning. As I slowly placed my feet on the floor I somehow knew God had prepared me for something I wasn’t ever going to forget. Could I handle this? I glanced over at both girls sleeping peacefully and exited the room. First, entering the bathroom to find Sean’s facial hair all over the sink, how that always irritated me. As I left the bathroom entering the living room I could see Sean’s pillow and blanket on the couch, clearly ruffled from a person that had been sleeping. I noticed as I looked through the window that his car was still in the driveway parked in the same spot as the previous day. My mind was racing and I grew uneasy within myself. I had somehow knew what the Lord had prepared me for. 

Beer cans stacked on the kitchen counter

An eary feeling lingering in the room

And quietness 

I slowly opened the door going into the garage from the kitchen. 

And that is when it became, That Day!

Sean had taken his own life in the most horrific way. I would never be the same person again and neither would our life together. The life I so hoped for filled with happiness would never be with him. He, Sean had taken it all away. The enemy had entered our home and engulfed Our lives. 

Policemen 

Ambulance 

Hazemat

Yellow tape

My heart was calm , yet broken. 💔



My family 💔💜💜💜

Broken and lonely

  •    My life has always been let’s say, a little on edge. I was that frazzled bird sitting on a telephone wire never knowing where I quite fit in at. 2 of my struggles were feeling loved and that dreaded self love.
  • I was quiet, funny and sarcastic as a kid. Afterall, this had become my coping skills with fear and pain. Early on I had convinced myself that I would never be loved by anyone. I ended up dating and going through a few boyfriends and yes, had my heart broken by a boy I had fallen in love with. I had given up on being loved once again.
  • Men had hurt me and my dad walked out of my life at 9 years of age. My home life was like a wolves den and we, my brother , sister and myself were the sheep just waiting for the next explosion of rage to happen. Domestic violence was part of our home life, was this normal? I lived in fear, sadness, guilt, anger and of course I had happy times.
  •   Soon I would be turning 19 and falling in love again. I thought he would be with me forever. March, 23rd, this would become a significant day, the day I met Sean and the day we would marry on 10 years later. We had 2 daughters in this period of time 4 years apart in age. Let’s go back a little bit in time. Why hadn’t I paid attention to the red flags early on? I was dating and marrying my father! But wasn’t this what love looked like, wasn’t I supposed to make it work?  We had children and a home together. I knew if I was going to be loved I’d better suck it up and live with my decisions. Afterall, where would I go!
  • There had slowly become more bad days then good days in our relationship. Our first daughter was born, Alyssa and finally I had someone to love me. She was my hope that things would be better. Unfortunately, things hadn’t improved at all, they were awful. Sean had become more abusive with his words, cheating and physical abuse towards me. Our 2nd daughter, Lyndsey was born 4 years later. Awh, once again I had someone that loved, “me.” Surely, this would change things in our relationship, I thought.
  • 2 daughters, a cat and a dog and life falling apart around me! I had become a prisoner to love. How would I escape this life. Where would I go.
  • The abuse and drugs became worse and bigger and our life together would take a turn for the worst. The happy life I wanted for us would end here.
  • November 29,1999 4 days after our daughters 8th birthday and one month away from our other daughters 4th birthday, Sean David Rounsaville, my husband, their daddy would take his own life to suicide. Drugs had won! Depression had sunk in like black smoke billowing under the cracks of the doors. The person that I loved and had hurt me for so long was gone just like that. Poof!
  • Suicide has become a part of my story and I’ve had to face a new life. I was left stricken with sadness, anger, loneliness and the feelings of being unloved and no self love.    Psalms 34:18 The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 💜